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Call for paper: Regional Experience Sharing Workshop on why the Convergence Criterion, Wage Bill to Tax Revenue Ratio, has been difficult to achieve by many ECOWAS Member States


Date : 25/02/2016 - 31/07/2016
Venue : ECOWAS Commission,
City : ABUJA
Country : Nigeria
Contact :

Background

The foundation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975 was premised on the growing desire to promote co-operation and integration in economic, political, social and cultural activity in the fifteen West African States of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. In its efforts to make regional integration a reality, the ECOWAS Commission was entrusted by the Authority of Heads of States and Government to implement a Monetary Cooperation programme (adopted in 1987) which should pave the way to a single currency for the region. To operationalize the programme a Multilateral Surveillance Mechanism was adopted in 2001 (Decision A/DEC/17/12/01) and later amended in 2012 via a Supplementary Act (Act A/SA.3/06/12) which deals with the Evaluation of Convergence.

This was premised on the assumption that no meaningful regional integration can be achievable without policy convergence amongst member countries. Traditionally, macroeconomic convergence focuses on the maximum allowable levels for a few key indicators that have to do with fiscal discipline, monetary and financial stability. These indicators normally serve as eligibility test for membership to a regional economic grouping. Other reasons for seeking macroeconomic convergence are the advantages it confers to members, either individually or collectively. These may include attainment of macroeconomic stability through sustainable fiscal deficits and public indebtedness, external current account deficit, as well as low and stable levels of inflation, which are among the key pre-conditions for achieving strong and sustainable economic growth. This was the justification for establishing a set of criteria to guide economic policy in the member states….

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